Digital Design Processes Explained

Newfangled are a web development firm at the bleeding edge of their field. They are quite generous with sharing some of their thinking on designing for the Internet. An interesting recent article suggests that a key part of working towards a new site is the development of 'personas', detailed profiles of prospective users. These personas help the developer to see things from the user perspective. As the author notes "Creating web personas prevents us from mistakenly building websites for ourselves rather than those we want to serve".  After interviewing prospective users of a client website, the developer tries to anticipate how the user will view the site and with what aims. The personas make it clear that users with different agendas often visit a given site, and that different triggers / calls to action may be required for those different audiences.

Archive of Everything

The interface is pretty ugly, but the ambition is grand and noble: "universal access to all knowledge". The Internet Archive describes itself as a 'library of the Internet". It stores/caches permanently billions of pages and millions of websites, plus audio and visual files. To do that, it needs serious storage capacity (we're talking petabytes). The Internet is such an evanescent, fizzing medium, continually addicted to the new and happy to forget the old almost instantly, that an organisation dedicated to preserving that tumult seems very valuable.

The Wayback Machine (a part of the site), for searching websites cached over the past decade or more, is exceptionally easy to use and functional. Likewise, the Open Library, featuring millions of digitised books, is incredibly interesting and well designed. Hopefully the programmers who put it together will work on making the entire site more accessible to lay users.